The Good Place: The Podcast is hosted by Marc Evan Jackson and is available on all networks, including ART19, Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, and the NBC website. Jackson, who plays the role of Shawn, the head demon of the Bad Place, invites his co-stars from the show and people from the production team including writers, the director, costume designers, and the visual effects supervisor.
Each episode starts with Jackson summarizing one of the episodes of The Good Place. He invites two members from the team to talk about that episode and their experiences on set, working with lead actor Ted Danson, and show creator Mike Schur, and their characters.
Jackson gives all the behind-the-scenes scoop, discusses the show’s storyline, and talks about Schur’s first draft, the costume department’s obstacles, plot development, and building a comedy show about ethics without making it boring or leaving people in existential crisis.
After finishing Parks and Recreation, Mike Schur was approached by NBC, telling him to do whatever he wanted as they needed about 13 episodes to air on their network. “[It was] obviously an incredibly rare thing, it’s a wonderful thing, it’s a lovely thing […] and because they had said that, I felt this sort of weird responsibility […] to do something really weird and different because how often in anyone’s life does one get the chance to do anything he or she wants with impunity,” remarks Schur on the podcast when Jackson asked him about the origin of the show.
Schur also talks about the auditions and how in his first draft, Janet was written as a “kiosk” where people would go to for any sort of help. But he scraped that idea, and auditioned about 50 people for the role, their ages ranging from 14-50. D’Arcy Carden was the most natural fit for Janet’s role.
Talking about the theme, Schur said that he initially envisioned the show to present life like a video-game, where people win or lose points according to their daily activities. Winners are rewarded and losers are not. However, Schur didn’t like that idea because he felt that was a very “money-ball idea, where the universe is like, ‘look, it’s not personal, it’s stats.’” From there, the idea expanded, and Schur discussed the morality of the point system, and the reasoning of a judge in that system.
Jameela Jamil, who plays Tahani, mentioned being nervous about spoiling the ending of season one. Jamil confirmed that she would run from the interviewers, and just nod at them till they were exhausted about not getting any answers form her. “It was a real sense of panic,” says Jamil. “I have never had a secret to keep, ever, because everything I have done was live hosting—it’s never been about me. And now suddenly, I am involved in this huge, elaborate rouse.”